The biblical Psalms were meant to be sung. At the time of the Reformation in central Europe Christians sought to recover a place for the laity in the liturgy of the church. The best way to do this, they believed, was to render the biblical Psalter in the language of the people set to singable tunes. These webpages are devoted to one of the greatest of the sixteenth-century psalters, compiled over several decades, completed in 1562 and used in the city of Geneva as the principal liturgical book among the Reformed Christians there. The Genevan Psalter was the product of a collaborative effort among several people, most notably Louis Bourgeois, Claude Goudimel, Théodore de Bèze and the French court poet Clément Marot. Marot and Bèze's original French versifications of the Psalms have stood the test of time in the francophone world. The Psalms would eventually be translated into German, Dutch, Hungarian, Czech, Italian and, much later, Afrikaans, Indonesian and English.
Psalm 19

Unfortunately the Genevan melodies, except for a very few tunes, did not catch on in the English-speaking world as they did elsewhere. This unfinished project represents an effort to make these marvellous tunes available to Christians throughout the world, along with appropriate texts. Posted below are eighty-five Genevan psalms, ten selections from my more recent Niagara Psalter project, twelve canticles from elsewhere in Scripture, and five extrabiblical hymns. The additional material is explained more fully in the comprehensive introductory essay written by the versifier, composer and arranger.

Clicking on the psalms, canticles and hymns listed below will lead to the versified text. Once in the text, clicking on the title or (in some cases) tune name will enable one to hear the music. Clicking on the PDF icon () immediately below will bring up a printable score. Those songs followed by * were added in the last two years. Pages have also been devoted to bibliographic sources, including psalters and books about the Psalter, an annotated discography, internet links and videos; and to a blog calling attention to updates to this site and to other psalm-related material elsewhere. Finally, there is a page containing a sample liturgy, based on a number of sources, showing the possible uses of the Psalms in the course of the ordinary worship service.

These pages are dedicated to the glory of God and to the service of his people. “Let everything that breathes praise the Lord!” (Psalm 150:6)

The Genevan Psalms

Psalm 1 Psalm 2 Psalm 3 Psalm 4 Psalm 5 Psalm 6 Psalm 7 Psalm 8 Psalm 9 Psalm 10
Psalm 11 Psalm 12 Psalm 13 Psalm 14 Psalm 15 * Psalm 16 Psalm 17 Psalm 18 Psalm 19 Psalm 20
Psalm 21 Psalm 22 Psalm 23 Psalm 24 Psalm 25 Psalm 26 Psalm 27 Psalm 28 Psalm 29 * Psalm 30 *
Psalm 31 Psalm 32 Psalm 33 * Psalm 34 Psalm 35 Psalm 36 Psalm 37 Psalm 38 Psalm 39 Psalm 40
Psalm 41 Psalm 42-43 Psalm 43 Psalm 44 Psalm 45 Psalm 46 Psalm 47 Psalm 48 Psalm 49 Psalm 50
Psalm 51 Psalm 52 Psalm 53 Psalm 54 Psalm 55 Psalm 56 Psalm 57 Psalm 58 Psalm 59 Psalm 60
Psalm 61 Psalm 62  Psalm 63 Psalm 64 Psalm 65 Psalm 66 * Psalm 67 Psalm 68 Psalm 69 Psalm 70
Psalm 71 Psalm 72 Psalm 73 Psalm 74 Psalm 75 Psalm 76 * Psalm 77 Psalm 78 Psalm 79 Psalm 80
Psalm 81 * Psalm 82 Psalm 83 Psalm 84 Psalm 85 Psalm 86 Psalm 87 Psalm 88 Psalm 89 Psalm 90
Psalm 91 Psalm 92 Psalm 93 Psalm 94 Psalm 95 Psalm 96 Psalm 97 Psalm 98 Psalm 99 Psalm 100
Psalm 101 * Psalm 102 Psalm 103 Psalm 104 * Psalm 105 Psalm 106 Psalm 107 Psalm 108 Psalm 109 Psalm 110
Psalm 111 Psalm 112 Psalm 113 Psalm 114 Psalm 115 Psalm 116 Psalm 117 Psalm 118 Psalm 119 Psalm 120
Psalm 121 Psalm 122 Psalm 123 Psalm 124 Psalm 125 Psalm 126 Psalm 127 Psalm 128 Psalm 129 Psalm 130
Psalm 131 Psalm 132 Psalm 133 Psalm 134 Psalm 135 Psalm 136 Psalm 137 Psalm 138 Psalm 139 Psalm 140 *
Psalm 141 Psalm 142 Psalm 143 Psalm 144 Psalm 145 * Psalm 146 Psalm 147 Psalm 148 Psalm 149 Psalm 150

The Niagara Psalter *

including introductory comments

Psalm 8 * Psalm 23 * Psalm 29 * Psalm 47 * Psalm 51 *
Psalm 95 *
Psalm 98 *
Psalm 130 *
Psalm 137 *
Psalm 150 *

Decalogue Song of Hannah First Song of the Servant Song of the Three Youths 
Song of Jonah Song of Mary; Gelineau-style Magnificat Song of Zechariah Song of Simeon (BETHLEHEM)
The Lord's Prayer * Romans 8
Philippians Hymn Colossians Hymn

Credo Phos Hilaron Te Deum Heidelberg Q&A 1 A Hymn for Pentecost 

Prophet David

All texts, musical arrangements, the tunes GATEVIEW, VOX DOMINI, QOL ADONAI, MISERERE, VENITE, HICKORY ROAD,
BENEDICITE, SOUTH BEND, LUSIGNAN and HEIDELBERG, all the tunes of the Niagara Psalter, and introductory essay
copyright © 1982-2014 by David T. Koyzis. All rights reserved. The Genevan
tunes and all other tunes are in the public domain.

Terms of use: Permission is hereby granted to use these songs on the following conditions: (1) the printable scores shall not be altered in any way visually or otherwise; (2) the songs shall be used on an individual basis only; (3) neither the collection as a whole nor a partial collection may be copied and bound in booklet form unless permission is expressly granted by the author; (4) if the text alone is printed in a church bulletin or other song sheet, all copyright information shall be clearly reproduced along with it; (5) no recordings shall be made of these songs without the express permission of the author; (6) reproductions of these songs in any form shall not be sold or otherwise used for monetary gain without the express permission of the author; (7) websites that use any of these texts, either whole or in part, shall include all copyright information and a link to this page. For further information or clarification please contact the author at dkoyzis{at}redeemer{dot}ca.

Website maintained by David T. Koyzis.
Last modified: Ascension Day, 29 May 2014


Home | Introduction | Blog | Bibliography | Annotated Discography | Links | Videos | Lord's Day Liturgy | The Psalms


Locations of visitors to this page